08
Oct
13

Jesus Never Changes

Hebrews 13 contains a plethora of wisdom.  These are the final instructions that the author wanted his readers to know, understand and practice.  For example, look at verses 5-6:

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

6 So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

That is so powerful!  God is with us, we have nothing to fear.  God is with us, we know He will provide everything we need.  So don’t love money more than God because that does not honor Him.  It does not please Him when we love money more than we love Him or when we trust our paycheck more than we trust Him.
We see in Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus’ character never changes?  That He is the same every single day?  His love never fails and never changes.  His mercy and grace are the same each day.  Forgiveness flows from His throne day after day.  Why?  Because He never changes.  Our world changes at an almost frightening pace, but Jesus never changes.
Finally, there is a verse that addresses how we are to respect our leaders in the church:

 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. – Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)

This verse tells me a few of things about elders and leaders in the church:
  1. They must take their job very seriously.  God will hold them accountable for the decisions they make and the leadership they provide.
  2. It is much easier for them to do their job when they are respected and obeyed.  When elders are questioned and belittled at every turn, their job becomes a chore and burdensome.
  3. The church suffers when people do not obey and respect their elders.  The author of Hebrews says that it is “of no benefit to you” when elders hate their job.

Read through Hebrews 13 and let God’s Word speak to you today.  What areas of Hebrews 13 are most relevant to your life?  What one area can you work on this week?

Hebrews 13

New International Version (NIV)

Concluding Exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

6 So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others,for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

Benediction and Final Greetings

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.

23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.

24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.

25 Grace be with you all.

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